In the past few weeks, the National Institutes of Health was highlighted in speeches by U.S. Senators Bob Casey, D-Penn., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Both called for an increase in the NIH budget, which has declined in purchasing power over the last ten years and has suffered even more from cuts due to sequestration.
Warren proposed a doubling of the NIH budget and said that the U.S. needs to make efforts to invest in innovation that will drive economic investments. To reiterate this point, Warren said, “When it comes to the economy and the budget, refusing to invest in the NIH is the budgetary equivalent of cutting off your feet to save money on shoes.” While it is unclear where the funds would come from, ASBMB supports an increase in science funding for several federal agencies, including the NIH and the National Science Foundation, to sustain the biomedical research enterprise.
In a similar sentiment, Casey visited the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and related the budget cuts to the NIH to jobs lost in Pennsylvania as several research institutions support employees throughout the state. Casey, a longtime supporter of biomedical research, leads bipartisan efforts to increase funds for biomedical research each year. ASBMB recognized Casey for these efforts by awarding him the ASBMB Howard K. Schachman Public Service award in 2012. With budget talks in the works, continued support for science funding must remain a national priority.
Follow the Policy Blotter for email notifications on continued support for NIH!